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Deductibles 101

A deductible is the amount you are required to pay out of pocket when filing an insurance claim.

You probably talked about them when you first bought your insurance coverage. But if you don’t review your insurance annually, the next time you even hear the word “deductible” could be months or even years later when you’re filing a claim. And this can make an already stressful time even more puzzling.

While we don’t expect you to agonize over your deductible every day, it’s important to know how to find and understand your deductibles, as well as determine if you’re paying the correct amount for your current risk.

Find and understand your deductible.

Your deductible is very easy to find. On a standard homeowners or auto insurance policy, your deductible amounts should be listed on the front page. This page is also known as the declarations page.

You may notice that your policy contains different deductible amounts for each individual coverage. For example, an auto policy includes both comprehensive and collision coverage, each with its own deductible. Collision coverage kicks in if you collide with another object. So, if you got into an accident with another driver, the collision deductible will apply to your claim. Comprehensive coverage applies when the damage to your car is brought on by other causes, like if you hit a deer or if a tree falls on your vehicle. In these instances, the comprehensive deductible will apply.

Also, you may see that some coverages don’t require a deductible, like scheduled coverage for jewelry or other valuable items, as well as homeowners’ or auto liability coverage. In these cases, you won’t have to pay any out of pocket costs if you need to file a claim.

Choose a deductible that’s right for you.

Deductibles also affect your rates. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium. Meaning, if you’re willing to pay more out of pocket when filing a claim, your monthly or semiannual payments will be smaller. On the flip-side, if you’re willing to pay more in premium, your deductible will be reduced.

When you review your policy, your agent can help you make sure that you’re paying the right amount for your risk. For instance, if you’ve got a fairly new home, you may not have the same risks as an older house and may not be as likely to file a claim. In which case, it could be better to have a higher deductible and lower premium.

And since different coverages within your policy contain different deductibles, your premium and deductibles can become even more customized. For example, if you live in the country and are more likely to hit a deer than another car, you may want to lower your deductible for comprehensive coverage, but raise your deductible for collision coverage.

Talk to your agent.

Your insurance agent is the best person to talk to when making these decisions. An annual review of your policy doesn’t take much time and could potentially save you money.

So, give Brandon a call for help evaluating your deductibles and ensuring that you’re paying the right amount for your current risks.


How to protect pets while driving

During this holiday season, our clients and friends will be traveling throughout the country and will most likely be bringing along their pets.  We know that your pets are your “fur-babies,” and you want to keep them safe. So, before you go cruising with your canine or kitty, let’s review some of the best ways to keep your dog and cat safe while driving around town or cross-country.

  1. Prep your pet.If you’re in for a long-distance road trip, get your pet prepared by taking them on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.1 If you’re traveling across state lines, bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record. While this generally isn’t a problem, some states require this proof at certain interstate crossings. Provide your pet with a light meal three-to-four hours prior to departure and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle.
  2. Take a travel kit.Bring food, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first aid and any travel documents. Pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity. And be sure to pack plenty of bottled water. Giving your pet drinking water from an area they aren’t used to could result in stomach discomfort.
  3. Hold on tight.Consider a harness to make sure your pet is safe and secure. Since an unrestrained pet can become a projectile, causing injury to itself or others in the vehicle, look for a harness that will keep them restrained in an accident. According to the 2013 Safety Harness Crashworthiness Study by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), the only product to pass the tests and earn the CPS designation of Top Performer was the Sleepypod® Clickit Utility Harness.
  4. Take comfort into account.Because most cats aren’t comfortable traveling in cars, for their safety as well as yours, it’s best to keep them in a carrier.2 If you use a crate or carrier in your car for your pet, the ASPCA recommends that the crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Remember to secure your pet’s crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop. In CPS’s 2015 Crate and Carriers Crashworthiness Studies, three models rose to the challenge: Gunner Kennels G1™ IntermediatePet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier, and Sleepypod® Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock.
  5. Keep all noggins inside the vehicle.Dogs and cats should always be kept safely inside the car and in the back seat.3 Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by particles of debris or made sick by having cold air forced into their lungs. Even sniffing the breeze from an open window can lead to a vet visit if a pebble or something from the road is kicked up into your dog’s face. And never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck. It’s too easy for a dog or cat to jump or fall out of a truck bed.
  6. Watch the road.As cute as they are, don’t let your pet distract you while you’re driving. In one study, 59% of survey respondents admitted to participating in at least one distracting behavior while driving with their dog, including petting and giving them treats.4
  7. Bring a buddy.Share the driving and pet caretaking duties with a friend or family member. You’ll be able to relax knowing that someone you trust is keeping a close eye on your pet.
  8. Rest your Rover.Stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise and use the potty. Keep in mind never to leave the car without a collar, tag and leash.
  9. Don’t leave your pet alone.A quick pit stop may feel like no time at all to you, but it’s too long to leave your pet in a car. One hazard is heat: when it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees within an hour. On an 85-degree day, even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside your car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. And, at these temperatures your pet can suffer irreversible organ damage or even death. An unattended pet is also an opportunity for theft. Pet thieves are on the lookout for pets who have been left alone in a car—anytime of the year—and they can strike in a matter of seconds after you walk away from your vehicle.
  10. Check your car insurance.Talk to Brandon to learn whether your car insurance will cover pet injuries in an accident. Many carriers offer pet injury coverage as part of their standard auto insurance policy. Use your insurance agent as a resource to help you select the “Wright” coverage for your four-legged friend.


2 – The Humane Society of the United States
3 –
4 – AAA and Kurgo Pet Products

7 things to know about rental car coverage

After a car accident, you have enough things to worry about. Getting to work the next day shouldn’t be one of them.

We’ve all been there—and arranging alternate transportation while your vehicle is in a repair shop can be a hassle. But rental reimbursement coverage can help alleviate some stress after an accident while also saving you money.

Here are seven things you should know about before buying rental car reimbursement coverage:

1. It’s optional.
Rental reimbursement coverage does not automatically apply after an accident. As an optional coverage, it must be purchased separately. A common misconception is that auto insurance automatically covers the cost of a replacement rental car. In reality, you often have to select this coverage and apply it to the policy.

2. There is a limit.
You’ll likely have a per day and per occurrence limit. For example, if you have a 25/750 limit, your insurance company will pay up to $25 per day but no more than $750 per claim for the rental vehicle. Most insurance companies will offer several different options, allowing you to choose the limit that is right for you.

3. Your vehicle must be in the shop due to a covered loss.
Rental reimbursement coverage can be used while your vehicle is being repaired after an accident or another covered loss, not for routine maintenance or leisure. So, if your car is at the body shop after an accident, a rental car is covered up to your limit. But if your car is undergoing routine maintenance that will keep it in the shop overnight or you are renting a vehicle for a family road trip, then rental reimbursement coverage would not apply.

4. You can use it right away.
After reporting a claim, if your vehicle isn’t drive-able, you can be authorized for a rental car right away. Otherwise, you will be relying on the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and you may have to wait a little while before they can assess the claim and agree to pay for a rental car. With rental reimbursement coverage, there’s no waiting.

5. No need to worry about additional insurance.
For the most part, when you have collision and comprehensive coverage’s in your auto insurance policy, it will transfer to the rental vehicle, eliminating the need to purchase additional coverage from the car rental agency. Check with Brandon, who will be able to tell you when this applies.

6. You may not need it at all.
If you have access to another vehicle, rideshare service or public transportation in the event your vehicle isn’t drivable, you may not need rental reimbursement coverage. But if you prefer the safety net of having a rental available if you need it, you may want to opt-in to this coverage.

7. It costs less than you might expect.
One year of rental reimbursement coverage will typically cost less than one day of out-of-pocket rental car expenses.

Want to learn more? Talk to Brandon for complete details on rental reimbursement coverage.


Common insurance myths — busted!

We get it—sometimes it’s hard to separate insurance fact from insurance fiction. For example, did you grow up thinking that car insurance costs more if you drive a red car? What about if you live in an apartment—does your landlord’s insurance policy cover your stuff?

Let’s bust these common insurance myths and uncover the truth!

Myth 1: If you buy a red car, you’ll pay more for car insurance.
Busted! The color of your vehicle has absolutely no bearing on your car insurance premium. Rather, make, model and safety features are part of what determines what you’ll pay. Other factors—including credit history, zip code and discounts—are also taken into consideration. So, go ahead, buy the red car!

Myth 2: If your car is damaged in an accident, insurance will always cover a rental car.
Busted! Rental reimbursement coverage does not automatically apply after an accident. As an optional coverage, it must be purchased separately. A common misconception is that auto insurance automatically covers the cost of a replacement rental car. In reality, you need to select this coverage and apply it to your auto policy.

Myth 3: If your car is totaled in an accident, you’re off the hook for car payments.
Busted! Cars’ values depreciate quickly and your car can sometimes be worth less than what you owe on it. Fortunately, there’s a nifty coverage type called loan/lease gap coverage that will pay off the balance of your car loan in the event your vehicle is totaled and you owe more than what it’s worth.

Myth 4: Your landlord’s insurance policy covers your stuff.
Busted! While the building owner’s insurance policy should cover the structure, typically, you’ll need renter’s insurance to cover your personal belongings. For example, if there is a fire, your landlord’s insurance would help cover structural damage and your renter’s policy would help you replace personal belongings that are lost or damaged.

Myth 5: Homeowner’s insurance only needs to cover the market value of your home.
Busted! The cost to totally rebuild your home is usually much more than its market value. You’ll need to consider today’s construction and labor costs when thinking about homeowner’s insurance.

Myth 6: If your old stuff is destroyed, you get brand new stuff.
Busted! There is a difference between Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost Value when it comes to replacing contents during a claim. If your 10-year-old television is destroyed in a storm, for example, you will need to have Replacement Cost coverage to be able to cover the cost of buying a new one. Otherwise, Actual Cash Value will cover what the television was worth, used, on the day it was destroyed.

Myth 7: You will always be paid the stated value for your “scheduled” items.
Busted! If you have a high value personal property item (say jewelry) and “schedule” it with a stated value of $10k and it’s lost or stolen, you may only be covered for the current Replacement Cost Value up to the stated value. Think of the stated value as the limit instead of a guaranteed dollar figure.

Myth 8: Your own car insurance covers you the entire time you’re driving for a ridesharing service.
Busted! There’s a period when your personal car insurance checks out before the rideshare company’s insurance checks in. Let’s say you’re cruising around, not doing much when you decide now is a good time to make a few extra bucks, so you turn on your ridesharing app. From the time you turn it on and are waiting for a ride request until the time you receive the request and are on your way to pick up a passenger, you may be underinsured. Different ridesharing companies have different coverages during this period, so a specific rideshare gap endorsement could help you out.

This post is for information purposes only. For specific coverage details, always refer to your policy. If the policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies.

5 life insurance tips for new parents

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Parenting is a crazy, amazing experience. As a new parent, your life will never be the same — and neither will your insurance needs.

You’ll want to protect your little bundle of joy forever. Therefore, life insurance is so important for parents. It provides a financial safety net in case you’re no longer there to provide for your child. And even if you already have a life insurance policy, your needs change greatly once kids are in the picture.

Here are some things to consider and tips for purchasing life insurance as a new parent.

  1. Consider permanent and term life insurance… and know the difference.

There are two main categories of life insurance: permanent and term. Permanent life insurance offers lifelong coverage, while term life insurance provides coverage over a set period of time. For parents, it may be wise to purchase a permanent policy and then add term insurance during your kids’ dependent years. This allows you to have a strong coverage foundation, plus some extra protection to ensure that your children will have what they need.

  1. Think about education expenses.

It may seem too soon to be thinking about education expenses for a child who can’t even walk yet, but it’s important to consider these costs when determining your life insurance policy. We all want our kids to have the best opportunities possible. Factoring education expenses into your life insurance can help ensure that they will have the same opportunities even if you aren’t around.

  1. Stay-at-home parents need life insurance, too.

Stay-at-home parents may not earn an income outside of the home, but consider what it would cost to replace everything that they do. The loss of a stay-at-home parent may mean that the surviving parent will now need to cover childcare and other expenses, which can rival the cost of college tuition.1 Purchasing life insurance for a stay-at-home parent can help cover these costs and relieve some of the financial burden on the surviving parent.

  1. Don’t designate your minor child as your beneficiary.

Yes, you’re buying the policy so your kids have financial protection, but it can be a big mistake to designate a minor as your beneficiary. A better option would be to set up a trust or designate an adult, like your spouse or a close relative, to oversee the distribution of money to the minor.

State regulations may limit if or how much a minor child can receive in life insurance proceeds, so they may have to wait to receive the life insurance benefits until the court appoints a guardian to administer the funds. This can take quite some time and typically requires multiple court dates.

  1. Speak with us!

The Wright Insurance Company help you find the best life insurance coverage, for the right price. Brandon can provide quotes from multiple carriers, discover discounts and work with you to determine your exact life insurance needs.

Fire Pit Safety – be careful when you play with fire, even in the backyard!

It’s a great feeling to hang out with friends and family around a blazing fire in your backyard in — unless, of course, that fire blazes a little too much.

While a fire pit can be a wonderful addition to your home, all fires are potentially dangerous. So before you sit down with some marshmallows to roast, we here at The Wright Insurance Company have gathered up some tips to help you keep that fire in the pit (and away from everything else).

Are you legal?

  • Before building or buying a fire pit, check the regulations in your area to learn about restrictions.
  • Your fire pit may be legal, but a fire might not always be. Monitor and follow community burn bans.
  • Be respectful. Nothing can extinguish the good vibes of a nice fire more quickly than police complaints from smoked-out neighbors.

What kind of pit do you want?

  • You can buy a fire pit or build one. If you choose the latter, there are plenty of resources online to help you design it. Don’t dig a hole just anywhere and throw some rocks down. Put some thought into it and you’ll have a better — and safer — spot to enjoy.
  • If you want convenience, a propane model might be right for you. They produce less smoke and have an adjustable flame.

Ready to build your fire?

Actually, you probably aren’t ready yet.

  • First, ensure the area under and around the fire pit is clear of flammable materials. Keep the pit itself at least 10 feet from any structures.
  • Before you start the fire, have a fire extinguisher or a garden hose handy.

Okay, now are you ready to build your fire?

  • Choose hard, seasoned woods. Sparks from softer woods like cedar can increase the danger of igniting something nearby.
  • Don’t use liquid fuels, even lighter fluid, to get your fire going. And don’t burn paper, cardboard, leaves, garbage, etc.
  • If you have a metal fire pit, don’t overload it and always use the included safety screen.

Is the fire out?

  • When you’re done, spread out the ashes and let them cool off for a bit. Then gently pour water or sand over them. Stick around for a little while to watch for flare-ups.

We want you to have plenty of nice, warm nights — without getting burned. Here’s to making memories around the fire!


It’s convertible season – put the top down and hit the road!

The call of the open road is at its strongest during the summer – and so is the call of the convertible. If you’re one of those drivers who has long dreamed of dropping the top and heading across the Midwest and beyond, we here at The Wright Insurance Company have some buying tips for you.

And before we forget, make sure you’ve got plenty of sunscreen!

Safety considerations

Of course, you want to be safe when driving your new car, so here are a few things to look for in a convertible, according to

  • Roll bars: Generally, convertibles offer some sort of roll bar to protect passengers should the car roll over.
  • Airbags: Side airbags that deploy from seats can be an optional feature on less-expensive convertibles and something you should consider. Some of these airbags offer extra protection for the head.
  • Rear-view cameras and sensors: When the top is up, it can be difficult to see out of the rear window. Cameras and sensors can provide added safety.

Hard or soft top?

You have two main choices when it comes to tops: Soft, which can result in more road noise and may be more susceptible to damage, and hard, which often look better but add weight and take up more trunk space when down. (A third option is a completely removable hard top, such as those found on some Jeeps.) This choice is largely a matter of personal preference, though cost can be a factor.

You’ll also want to test the top for leaks – regardless of whether it’s a soft or hard top. Spray water where the roof connects with the windshield and where the glass meets the roof along the sides. You’re looking to make sure no moisture gets inside.

Everyday issues

If you’re planning to drive your convertible frequently (and why wouldn’t you?), there are some practical things you should take into consideration:

  • Wind noise: When you have the top down at highway speeds, you might find it difficult to hear the stereo system. If you’ll be driving a lot with the top down, getting the upgraded stereo might not be worth it. Then again, a better stereo can have more power, allowing you to actually hear your music.
  • Putting the top up/down: A motorized top, of course, makes everything easier. But they are more complex. Be sure to test out the top and how long it takes you to put it up or down, especially if it’s a manual process. After all, if it starts raining suddenly, you want to be able to get the top up as quickly as possible!
  • Luggage space: Most convertibles aren’t large to begin with, but trunk space is even smaller when the top is down. If you plan to take your convertible on vacation (or pack golf clubs or other bulky items), it’s a good idea to really take a hard look at the trunk space before you buy.
  • Passenger space: Do you need to take more than one passenger on many of your drives? If so, a roadster (two seats) isn’t an option. But even if the convertible you’re eyeing has four seats, hop in back and check the comfort level. If you aren’t comfortable, your passengers probably won’t be, either.

Special features

According to, there are certain features that truly make a difference in convertibles, such as wind deflectors, heated/cooled seats and sun-reflective upholstery. Certain features, such as heated seats, can make your convertible much more comfortable to drive on cooler days.

Above all, you’ll want to choose the convertible that best fits how you’ll use it. If you’re lugging golf clubs (and golf buddies) around in the summer, you probably don’t want a roadster. Conversely, if your idea of a great weekend is to toss a duffel bag in the passenger seat and hit the road, smaller may be better.

One of the great – and annoying – things about buying a car is the sheer number of options out there. But if you get frustrated, remember one thing: You’re buying a convertible. Your friends are probably envious!

And when you buy that convertible, give us a call. We’ll make sure you’ve got #thewrightcoverage!

Yard Work Safety

Let’s Keep Our Lawns – and Ourselves – Safe!

For many of our neighbors, summer means more than sunshine and vacations. It also means working in the yard – often with tools that can be dangerous if not used properly.
Each year about 400,000 people are treated for injuries from lawn and garden tools, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Don’t let your landscaping efforts land you in the hospital! Follow these handy safety tips.

Tool safety tips from the U.S. CPSC:

  • Dress appropriately. To protect yourself from debris when using lawn tools, wear eye protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes and no jewelry. Sturdy shoes are recommended, and ear plugs may be appropriate depending on how loud the device is.
  • Before starting, remove objects from your work area that could cause injury or damage, such as sticks, glass or stones.
  • Keep children indoors and supervised at all times when any outdoor power equipment is being used. Never let a child ride or operate a garden tractor or riding mower, even if the child is supervised. And never assume children will remain where you last saw them.
    Use extreme caution when backing up or approaching corners, shrubs and trees.
  • Teenagers using power equipment should always be supervised by an adult.
  • Handle gasoline carefully. Never fill tanks while machinery is on or when equipment is still hot. Of course, you should never smoke or use any type of flame around gasoline or any gasoline-powered equipment.
  • Do not work with electric power tools in wet or damp conditions. For protection against electrocution, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Be sure that extension cords are in good condition, are rated for outdoor use, and are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity of the tool.

Lawn Chemical Safety Tips from Texas A&M University:

  • If you use chemicals to control weeds or pests in your lawn, read the product label carefully so you understand the potential effects on humans, animals and the environment. Follow all instructions.
  • Keep children and animals away from the application area, and protect your skin, eyes and nose during and after application.
  • Remember, use only the recommended amount. Using more of the chemical will not do a better job.
  • Ask yourself if you truly need to use a general pesticide. Is there a product that will specifically treat only the problem you need to solve?

From all of us at The Wright Insurance Company, here’s to keeping both you and your lawn healthy this summer!


The Wright Insurance Company was well represented last Friday evening at the Indianapolis Zoo’s annual black-tie fundraising event, Zoobilation! Jena and I were proud to be part of the Zoo’s largest single-day fundraiser. The money raised through Zoobilation helps to provide food and care to the Zoo’s 1,200 animals and 34,000 plants, as well as funding for local and international conservation efforts.

Now Representing Indiana Farmers!

The Wright Insurance Company now represents Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance and its farm, auto, home and multiple other policies & coverages! This means that you have even more options to protect what matters to you. Give me a call at 317-610-3306 to find out how I will offer expert advice to help you meet your insurance needs.  #thewrightcoverage